Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0550
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Full Text of HR0550  103rd General Assembly



HR0550LRB103 37049 LAW 67165 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of Edward
4M. "Ed" Smith, who passed away on January 3, 2024; and
5    WHEREAS, Ed Smith was born to Connell F. Smith and Mary
6Jewel Smith in Cairo on September 9, 1954; he received his
7Associate of Arts from Shawnee College in 1974; he earned his
8bachelor's degree from the National Labor College; he later
9graduated from the Harvard University Trade Union Program; and
10    WHEREAS, Ed Smith was a champion of the American Labor
11Movement, from his earliest days at the Laborers'
12International Union of North America (LiUNA) through his
13tenure as chairman and CEO of Ullico Inc., a labor-owned
14financial services firm, leaving every place he worked better
15than he found it; and
16    WHEREAS, Ed Smith joined LiUNA at age 13 in 1968, working
17as a laborer before being elected as business manager of
18Laborers' Local Union 773 at age 21 in 1976; focusing his
19efforts on using innovative strategies to protect labor
20rights, he led 40 organizing drives with groups across
21Southern Illinois during the 1970s and 80s, which boosted
22Local 773's membership from 300 to 4,000; he was named



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1business manager of Southern Illinois Laborers' District
2Council in 1985, later becoming chairman of the Central
3Laborers' Pension Fund; he was appointed regional manager of
4the Midwest Region in 1994, serving over 58,000 members; he
5was elected as vice president and regional manager of LiUNA,
6and he also served as assistant to the general president;
7during his tenure, he helped forge the National Alliance for
8Fair Contracting, pioneered regional Tri-Funds programs for
9contractor cooperation and worker protection, and greatly
10expanded LiUNA's political influence throughout the Midwest
11Region, lobbying at statehouses and urging members to run for
12local office; and
13    WHEREAS, Ed Smith joined Ullico in 2007, assembling an
14experienced management team and working hard to redouble the
15company's commitment to the labor movement while serving as
16executive vice president from January 2007 until May 2008; he
17then served as president from May 2008 until he was named CEO
18of Ullico in January 2011; under his leadership, Ullico
19enhanced its insurance program for union leaders and benefit
20plan trustees, grew its union-supporting commercial real
21estate financing fund, and generously gave back to the
22community, donating millions of dollars each year to
23philanthropic causes; internally, he was insistent that the
24company take care of its employees, building a culture that
25put people first; through his bold leadership and visionary



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1business mind, he was integral in moving Ullico forward; and
2    WHEREAS, Ed Smith served on the Democratic National
3Committee and was a delegate to many national conventions; he
4formerly served as chairman of the Illinois State Board of
5Investment, as chairman of the National Alliance for Fair
6Contracting, and as a member of the Illinois Department of
7Labor Advisory Board; he was a board member of the National
8Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP), the
9Laborers' Charitable Foundation, The Laborers' CARE (TLC), and
10America's Agenda: Healthcare for All, and he served as a
11trustee for the AFL-CIO Staff Retirement Plan; and
12    WHEREAS, Ed Smith was a key benefactor to the Therapy
13Center in Carterville, the Shawnee College Foundation in
14Ullin, and the Connell F. Smith Homer Brown Scholarship Fund
15in Marion; and
16    WHEREAS, Ed Smith never knew a stranger, making friends
17wherever he went and always treating others with dignity, and
18he was known for his generous spirit, moral conviction, fierce
19loyalty, and infectious optimism; and
20    WHEREAS, Ed Smith was the husband of Betty, his closest
21advisor, the father of Jordan and Matt, a grandfather, and a
22friend; and



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1    WHEREAS, Ed Smith will be remembered for the profound
2impact he made on the labor movement, Ullico and its
3employees, and those around him; therefore, be it
6we mourn the passing of Edward M. "Ed" Smith and extend our
7sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew
8and loved him; and be it further
9    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
10presented to the family of Ed Smith as an expression of our
11deepest sympathy.